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Author Archive: Msgr. Charles Pope

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“Church-speak” – Strange Things Church People Say

February 3, 2016 14 Comments
“Church-speak” – Strange Things Church People Say

Many groups have a tendency to use words that make sense to their members but are unintelligible to outsiders. I have sometimes had to decode “Church-speak” for recent converts. For example, one time I proudly announced, “RCIA classes will begin next week, so if you know anyone who is interested in attending please fill out […]

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Is It Ever OK to Lie?

February 2, 2016 46 Comments
Is It Ever OK to Lie?

Many of you know that I write the Question and Answer Column for Our Sunday Visitor on both their newspaper side and in their magazine, The Catholic Answer. Every now and then a question comes in that seems like a good topic for the blog. The following question comes up frequently whenever I teach moral […]

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The Parish Church in a Changeable Community: Some Basic Requirements for Survival

February 1, 2016 15 Comments
The Parish Church in a Changeable Community: Some Basic Requirements for Survival

For my first assignment as a priest I was sent to a large parish located in a suburb just inside the Washington Beltway. At the time it was flourishing, with four well-attended masses each Sunday. The people there loved their parish and spoke with devotion of the former pastor who, though he had died a […]

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Why the Acclamations at the “Mystery of Faith” Need Further Consideration

January 31, 2016 24 Comments
Why the Acclamations at the “Mystery of Faith” Need Further Consideration

There is a moment in the Eucharistic Prayer in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite at which the priest awkwardly summons the people to respond by using a sentence fragment: “The mystery of faith” (mysterium fidei). The 1970 translation from the Latin tried to complete the fragment by supplying some additional words: “Let us […]

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A “Rule of Life” for Prophets – A Homily for the 4th Sunday of the Year

January 30, 2016 1 Comment
A “Rule of Life” for Prophets – A Homily for the 4th Sunday of the Year

Prophets are those who speak for God. They Love God and His people; they speak the (often painful) truth of God to His people. They do so not to win an argument, but because of their love and conviction that only the undiluted truth of God can save us in the end. People-pleasing and other […]

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From My Hidden Faults Acquit Me, O Lord! As Seen in a Commercial

January 29, 2016 1 Comment
From My Hidden Faults Acquit Me, O Lord! As Seen in a Commercial

The video below humorously illustrates a biblical principle of our hidden faults. We all have sins and behaviors that are apparent to others but of which we are unaware. And there are even deeper faults of which no one is aware except God Himself, who sees our innermost heart. Consider some of the following quotes: […]

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Blessed (and also very smart) Are the Merciful

January 28, 2016 0 Comments
Blessed (and also very smart) Are the Merciful

In today’s gospel the Lord gives us a very practical reminder: “The measure that you measure to others will be measured back to you.” What does this mean? Well, if you were on your way to court and you received advice as to how you could influence the judge to be less severe in your […]

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Why Holy Days and the Sanctoral Cycle Are Important

January 27, 2016 3 Comments
Why Holy Days and the Sanctoral Cycle Are Important

In last Sunday’s Mass we read from the eighth chapter of the Book of Nehemiah. I posted a lengthy commentary on it last week (On the Wonder of the Word of God). In today’s post I would like to ponder a rather surprising emphasis of that text. Let’s start with a little background. In a […]

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